A mom of a boy who was bitten by dogs decided to give it back to those who called her son a ‘monster.’
Back in 2015, Ryder Wells, a native of North Carolina, faced a horrible ordeal when dogs attacked him after he and his mom were staying at a friend’s house.
The friend’s two pet Rottweilers attacked the little boy. No one knew why the dogs attacked. “He’d been around the dogs before and they’d been fine,” his mom, Brittany, explained, “so I don’t know what happened.”
On that fateful day, the two canines mauled Ryder Wells, who was 22 months old at the time and had managed to sneak into the backyard through the dog door.
“When we picked him up and rolled him, his face was just gone,” Brittany said.
The dogs’ owner, Amber, felt horrible about the tragic incident that happened at her house. “I blame myself all the time because it was my dog,” Amber says through tears. But Brittany has no ill will towards her.
Ryder Wells was airlifted to the hospital by an emergency crew for treatment, the damage done by the two dogs was extensive.
“The doctors said they would do what they could but we weren’t expecting him to make it,” Brittany said.
Ryder lost his whole right cheek, the bottom of his eyelid, 75 percent of his lip, his teeth were crushed and he suffered a broken arm as well as a punctured lung.
He spent 14 hours in surgery and Doctors had to perform a tracheostomy for the punctured lung. The doctors feared that the dogs had bitten so hard into his skull that he would be paralyzed.
But still, after all that, the little boy amazed everyone by surviving. “They said it’s a miracle that he’s still here because he was so small and the injuries were so severe,” Brittany says.
She calls her son “fierce,” as he continues to defy the doctors’ expectations day after day.
Although Ryder’s teeth were crushed and his medical team tried putting restrictions for his feeding, but he decided to explore things on his own. “He refused a puree diet and the special cup they gave him and learned to drink on his own,” his mom said. “He’s really adapted.
Ryder’s determination paid off and he has done things beyond the expectations of doctors and others. “The doctors said he would never be able to eat normally,” Brittany explained. “He only has eight teeth now but he eats everything.”
Because of the incident, Ryder Wells looks different from kids his age but he is still a child just like the others, “He’s been amazing how he’s adapted after what he’s been through,” his proud mom says.
Unfortunately, he has faced the brunt of bullies because of his looks, “In the beginning, it was horrible because even adults would stare,” Brittany said. “For the first year, he had no face on one side because he had two unsuccessful skin grafts.”
“He’ll never look the same and we face a lot of obstacles,” Brittany says. Trips outside of the home can be heartbreaking because of people’s reactions to Ryder’s face. More surgeries are planned for Ryder right up until the time he is matured.
“When we go to the park, there’s a child who points and screams ‘monster’ at him before running away. Out shopping the other day someone shouted ‘ew’ at him,” Brittany says. “It’s hard and it breaks my heart as a parent that after everything he’s been through, people aren’t always nice over something he can’t help.”
The mom is speaking out because she wants people to be educated about the fact that he is a normal kid like any other. “He knows that people are talking about him but he doesn’t say much,” she says. “He wears glasses and a cap and sometimes he’ll hang his head to hide his face.”
Ryder Wells is just a normal 5-year-old, and that’s what Brittany wants people to see, rather than his facial disfigurement. “He is such a fighter,” she says, “he doesn’t let anything hold him back.”
When Ryder started attending Kindergarten, the family warned the kids in his class in advance so they wouldn’t be shocked by Ryder’s appearance. And while there are “always going to be a couple of kids who aren’t kind,” this sweet boy is flourishing in school.
“He has a great group of friends and people in the town know him now so that boosts his confidence,” Brittany explained. She went on to say, “But I just tell him every day that he’s beautiful, different is beautiful and it’s ok to be different.”
The way Ryder has tackled every obstacle in his path is truly inspiring. And he’s teaching everyone around him such an important lesson. “Just treat everybody equally,” said Ryder’s older brother, Collin.